Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/12/2014

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/12/2014

1. Large Scale Migrant Rescue Guidance

ICS has published Guidance on Large Scale Rescue Operations at Sea, in response to the migration crisis “necessitating commercial ships to rescue tens of thousands of migrants and refugees during 2014”. The move comes in response to the increased onus on ships to rescue migrants in the Med following the end of the Mare Nostrum agreement and the stepping down of EU Search And Rescue (SAR) operations. The Guidance on Large Scale Rescue Operations is intended to assist crew members and shipping companies in the eventuality of rescues of “as many as 200 people at a time”.




2. BIMCO and ICS Gear Up for Manning Survey

Since 1990, BIMCO and ICS have conducted a comprehensive survey of the world’s supply and demand of seafarers every five years. They are inviting the shipping industry to participate in the next Manpower Report. Previous studies have shown that a large number of officers are expected to retire in the near future. Furthermore, anticipated growth in trade will generate the need for more officers and ratings due to the increase in the number of ships needed to meet demand. The report will identify current problems and issues with maritime manpower, as well as future considerations to ensure an adequate pool of high calibre seafarers.




3. Maersk in Cut Service Plans

Maersk Line revealed plans to close its current TP5 service as of January 15th, 2015 amid unprofitable results. The decision includes suspension of direct Taiwan Express product to the Pacific Southwest as of January 1st, 2015 as well. Maersk Line said that this does not mean that the company’s commitment to the Transpacific trade has wavered. According to Maersk Line, the long-standing downward pressure on profitability in the Transpacific represents a serious risk to service levels. For the Japan market, Maersk will launch a new TP5 product with reduced capacity covering Busan, Yokohama, Los Angeles, and Oakland.




4. Crew Evacuated as Vessel Drifts

Seven crew members have been evacuated from the Panama-flagged cargo vessel MV Gold, which is drifting off Tuzla, Turkey as of Monday, December 8. There were no reported injuries to the crew. The vessel started drifting in Yalova harbour area having lost power after a technical malfunction on board. Rescue operation is underway by the Coast Guard to assist the stricken vessel. The vessel is not in danger of sinking, according to the local Coast Guard, and there are no evidence of pollution. MV Gold was sailing from Tuzla to Darica when she lost power.




5. Major Cash Find on Vessel

Venezuela has uncovered at least $3 million in cash hidden under the false bottom of a Ford truck that arrived on a Lebanese-flagged ship from Miami. Anti-drug agents discovered the greenbacks after performing an X-ray scan at the port of Cabello in the central state of Carabobo. "Preliminary information shows that the money discovered is at least 3 million dollars in small denominations," AVN said, adding that the state prosecutor’s office will charge the man "responsible" for the truck, Arquimedes Jose Rondon. It did not provide information about the potential owner of the dollars or say why the money was brought in.




6. Union Attacked for Double Standards

Last week the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) Union criticised the shipping industry’s "alarmist" statements on sulphur regulations. The union stated that "blatantly alarmist noises" from the industry "threaten to destabilise the already damaged sector and… pose a renewed threat to seafarers jobs and training". According to one journalist, if the aim of the RMT is to safeguard work and conditions for its members, it could be worth taking into account affairs in mainland Europe when assessing the ability of shipping lines to absorb fresh costs.



7. LNG Boom Days Are Over

China’s state-controlled energy giant Sinopec wants to sell some long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) import deals as a slowing economy makes them unprofitable, sources say, signalling the end of a five-year boom fuelled by rising Chinese demand. Asia’s thirst for energy has helped drive a “dash for gas” in producer countries from Australia to Canada, with LNG emerging as the fastest growing fuel source since the beginning of the century on the back of soaring Chinese imports. But just as long-planned projects start to come on stream China’s economy is stuttering, which is likely to crimp demand and pull down domestic gas prices.



8. Human Rights Lawyers React to Pirate Furore

According to Human Rights lawyers there is a good deal of froth about pirates receiving compensation in the media, with little of it looking at what our pirates got their damages for. They feel that if people see what the case was actually about, there is no real fuss? The right not to be unlawfully detained is not just conferred on those who later turn out to be not guilty. By definition, you are at a stage when a court has not pronounced on guilt, one way or another. Their claims were for breach of Article 5(3) of the ECHR, and in particular the duty on the state to bring detainees before a judge “promptly”. This was not done, hence the payments.




9. NZ to Ratify MLC

New Zealand will ratify the Maritime Labour Convention to ensure fair treatment of seafarers and protect the reputation of New Zealand exports, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse and Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss has announced. “Ratifying the Convention gives New Zealand the power to inspect and verify that crew on foreign ships carrying New Zealand goods are treated fairly and within internationally accepted standards,” Mr Woodhouse says. It will also protect the reputation of New Zealand exports. MLC will apply to about 890 foreign ships visiting New Zealand annually and approximately 31 NZ ships.




10. Amazing Growth for Security Firm

UK maritime security firm Ambrey Risk has been ranked as the eighth fastest growing company in the UK by Richard Branson’s Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100. The league table ranks companies based on their sales growth over the past three years, and Ambrey Risk, even in the current depressed climate for maritime security, currently ranks ahead of companies such as the fashion brand Victoria Beckham (14), which not only has access to major marketing, financial, and business clout, but also started two years earlier. Ambrey Risk has seen an average annual growth of 175.07% per year, accruing £23.3M ($36M) in sales.





Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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